Practical management of scarce arable plant populations

  • Published source details Pywell R.F., Hulmes L., Meek W.R. & Nowakowski M. (2010) Practical management of scarce arable plant populations. Aspects of Applied Biology, 100, 375-380.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Sow rare or declining arable weeds

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Sow rare or declining arable weeds

    A randomized, replicated, controlled trial in 2005 and 2007 in Oxfordshire, UK (Pywell et al. 2010), showed that it is possible to establish and maintain new populations of scarce arable plants by combining cultivation and herbicide treatment. Twelve 25 x 14 m plots were cultivated, harrowed and sown with seven scarce arable plant species in October 2005 and monitored after two years in June 2007. Plots annually cultivated in autumn had significantly greater cover and more species of sown scarce arable plants than spring cultivated plots (25-60% cover, >1.5 species/m2 on average for autumn cultivated plots, compared with 10-30% cover and 0.5-1.7 species/m2 for spring cultivated plots). The highest cover by scarce arable plants (average 60%) was in plots cultivated and treated with grass-specific herbicide in autumn. Five sown arable species achieved >1% cover on average in year two. Common corncockle Agrostemma githago and cornflower Centaurea cyanus both increased significantly under autumn cultivation. There were three replicates of each combination of herbicide and cultivation treatments.


Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 19

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust